The himalayas valley, and on the valley there were tall trees, as if trying to reach the clouds in the sky. Ahead far away the valley slope was shining, as it was covered with pallid snow. And far somewhere from those shining slopes a rivulet was originated. The rivulet was flowing swiftly taking enthralling snake turns around the valley, and making melodious, pleasant sound.
Tall trees, bird chirps, melodious sound of the flowing river, it was difficult to judge at least from the atmosphere that which era was going on. Since thousands, rather millions years this natural phenomenon must be going on and on. If there is no intrusion of the human in such atmosphere and there are no signs of their, so called progress, then there is no difference in the old era and the modern era as such. At the bottom of one of these tall Himalayan hills, an ancient cave was nestled. The cave was surrounded by tall grass, waving with the chilled breeze. In the cave a rishi was engrossed in meditation. Long hairs on the head, long beard, long mustache, all hairs, as if tired from growing. Out of long meditation, an aura, a deep seriousness was developed on and around his face. Ignorant from the atmosphere around, in fact ignorant from the era, the place and his body his consciousness would have been traveling through the ages. While traveling though eternal, infinite ages at last his minuscule consciousness had entered the modern age ….
An evening in America. A footpath of one of the crowded road of the crowded city. People were walking, and their modernity was reflecting through the way they were walking on the footpath. Vehicles were rushingon the road. The people were so immersed in themselves that they were not free to look at the other companions walking beside them. Everything was systematic, as if preplanned, like self-driving machines or robots. They were looking straight ahead along the line of their noses, may be they thought it’s against their manners to look around. In such a group of people a beautiful, slim lady Angeni, with everlasting sweet smile on her face, must be around 25, was walking along, holding a jam packed shopping bag in one hand. She turned to enter a shop, taking care of the hairs coming on her face with the other free hand. She must have almost completed her shopping; it was evident from her jam-packed shopping bag. Suddenly a police vehicle rushed on the road making irritating high pitch siren sound. The mob walking on the footpath got disturbed. Anjeni stopped abruptly in the shop door, turned and started looking to check what happened? All people started to look in confusion, some stopping while walking, while others turning while walking. As if their expressionless faces experienced the emotion of fear since long. Some people were still successful in hiding their expressions, might be showing some expression did not feet in their manners. Police van vanished in the speed with which it came. Road was disturbed for a while like a stone falls and generates waves in the water. Again everything became normal, like a machine, as if nothing had happened. Anjani turned and entered the shop. How could she know that the van just passed by had some connection with her life?
Police van stopped by an apartment in a rich lavish colony. Some residents of the colony were relaxing in their balconies, started looking at the police van in confusion. There was an unnatural silence in the colony. John and his team got down, rushed to the apartment lift. Police driver parked his vehicle in the parking lot. As John and his team reached the lift, they were disappointed by not finding the lift in place.
“Shit…” John said in annoyance, pressed the lift button and waited for the lift to come down.
John was impatiently pressing the lift button again and again. After some time at last the lift came down. John pressed the button again; door opened. A person wearing black T-shirt came out. Some white letters scribed on the T-shirt caught John’s attention. It was ‘Zero’ written in white letters. John and his team entered the lift at once. John pressed the button having number 10 written on it. Lift closed and started running upwards.
Lift stopped at 10th floor. As all of them including John rushed out, they saw an open flat in front of them, they darted towards it. When they reached the open door, they slowly, cautiously entered in, covering each other. Finding nobody in the hall, John and his two associates turned towards the bed room. Rest of the team started searching kitchen, study room and other rooms. Kitchen and study room was empty. While entering the bedroom John realized that most of the things in the bedroom were lying around clumsily, probably thrown by somebody. He signaled two of his associates and they started entering the bedroom carefully, covering each other. As they entered the bedroom, they witnessed a terrible scene, more than they expected. A badly injured man was lying on the bed, a pool of blood around him. His body was motionless, might be dead or unconscious. John went to him and checked his pulse. He was already dead, might be quite some time back.
” Here … here it goes” John’s associate said calling others. Other team members immediately joined them. John looked around inspecting to find any trace. Suddenly a wall adjacent to bed cached his attention. There were blood spots spread around on the wall. As he looked carefully at it, it was something written on the wall with blood, a circle was drawn.
What does it mean?
Johns thought process accelerated.
To whom this blood belongs? – to the corpse?, to the killer? or to somebody else?
Whether the circle was drawn by the killer or the victim just before dieing.
” You people carry on” John instructed to his team to carry on their usual investigation procedure.
His associates started on the jobs assigned to them. John again observe carefully looking around the bedroom. There was a study table in the corner, a photograph of a victim placed on it. There was various post envelopes scattered around on the table. John picked up one randomly.
‘To Sani Carter’ was written on it.
Victim’s name must be Sani Carter, as those were the letters arrived to him through post. John picked up the bunch. Going through those envelopes he casually walked to the window and looked outside. Wow…. there was a beautiful lake outside, surrounded by pleasent greenary. For a while John forgot the atmosphere around and got immersed in the stunning scene outside. While looking at the lake suddenly something connected him back again to the atmosphere in the room. What was it? It was the shape of the lake; it was nearly a circular lake.
John started thinking again-
‘ What is it , which is drawn on the wall?’
Suddenly a thought strike him-
‘ Does it mean Zero?… yes it must be zero’
He spoke aloud ”Sam and you… Dan”
”Yes sir” Sam and Dam came forward.
”While getting into the lift, we saw a guy wearing a black T-shirt … and there was ‘Zero’ drawn on it… are you aware of?” John asked them.
”Yes sir… I remember his face” Sam said.
”Yes sir… I also remember” Dan also backed up.
”Good… quickly go down …. and get him… come on go … quick… still he must be around…”
” Yes sir”
Sam and Dan darted out to get him.
.. to be contd…
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